Angels first baseman Kendry Morales has been selected as the Sharp Presents the American League Player of the Month for August. It's the first time in Morales' career he's won a monthly award.
In 28 games, Morales batted .385 (42-for-109) with eight doubles and 10 home runs, and tied for a Major League-best 33 RBIs as the Angels maintained their edge over Texas in the AL West.
The 26-year-old posted a .409 on-base percentage and a Major League-leading .734 slugging percentage. His RBI total set a new club record for August, previously held by Bobby Bonds, who collected 31 RBIs in August 1977.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out firmly in support of his first baseman in the AL's Most Valuable Player Award derby.
"Absolutely no doubt," Scioscia said when asked about Morales' candidacy. "Look at his individual stats, what he's meant to his team. [If you] look at what Kendry has meant to his club opposed to what other players have meant to their club, the only guy [in that category] is [Twins catcher] Joe Mauer in Minnesota."
"It seems word travels from West to East a little slower in the game of baseball. But I think the world of baseball knows what he's meant to our club."
Morales, who leads the Majors with 45 RBIs since the All-Star break, is currently hitting .313 with 30 home runs and 94 RBIs. Morales is the second consecutive Angels player to win monthly honors, following teammate Bobby Abreu, who was honored in July.
The runner-up was Mauer, who led the AL with a .391 (45-for-115) batting average, adding eight homers and 23 RBIs.
"Kendry is in a good spot to hit behind [Vladimir Guerrero] and also to break up some of the righties," Scioscia said. "We'll tinker with some things. The way Kendry's swinging, it's nice to get him behind Vlad against right-handed pitchers.
"If you take Kendry out of our lineup, I think you're looking at a different offense."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. Lyle Spencer contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.